• The operating theatre as a key to improved hospital operations

      Cardoen, Brecht (2012)
      In search of an answer to the question to what degree context determines human resource management (HRM) practices, a holistic picture of contextual factors seems indispensable. However, due to ample interpretations and the vague characterization of this construct, a self-revealing definition seems impossible. In order to address this dilemma, we firstly tackle the need for a discussion on what context is and, secondly, how it is embedded in the field of international comparative Human Resource Management. We start this paper with a short summary of the Universalistic versus Contextual Perspective on the one hand, and the Convergence versus the Divergence paradigm on the other. We discuss the influence of context within both debates. Secondly, we elaborate on the mapping of the construct of context by scrutinizing the relevant literature within the international comparative HRM field. Thirdly, the link between this construct and the Cranet Network is investigated. Finally, the usefulness of the Cranet data, in light of the contextual, is discussed with the focus on future research and its practicability in further research endeavors.
    • The optimal rating philosophy for the rating of SMEs

      Rikkers, Frieda; Thibeault, André (2007)
      The objective of this research is to determine the optimal rating philosophy for the rating of SMEs, and to describe the consequences of the chosen philosophy on several related aspects. As to our knowledge, this is the first paper that studies the considerations of financial institutions on what rating philosophy to adopt for specific portfolios. The importance for banks to have a solid risk framework to predict credit risk of their counterparties is well reflected by the quality and the quantity of research on this subject. Moreover, a good risk framework is vital to become compliant with the new Basel II framework. Problem is that financial institutions nearly always neglect the first step in the rating model development process: the determination of the rating philosophy. It is very important for financial institutions to decide whether they want their internal rating systems to grade borrowers according to their current condition (point-in-time), or their expected condition over a cycle and in stress (through-the-cycle), because the rating philosophy influences many aspects such as: credit approval, pricing, credit and portfolio monitoring, the regulatory and internal capital requirements and the competitive position of a bank. This makes the question which rating philosophy to use very important. Moreover, many different modelling techniques exist to determine credit risk, but few attempts have been devoted to credit risk assessment of small commercial loans, although SME exposures are relatively important for European banks. SMEs have specific characteristics that influence the rating philosophy and therefore the development and use of credit risk models. These SME characteristics are taken into account in the analysis to determine the optimal rating philosophy. Keywords: rating philosophy, small business, Basel II, credit rating, banks JEL classification codes: D82, E32, G20, G28, G33
    • The options behind dark fiber or wavelength lease

      De Maeseneire, Wouter; Verbrugge, S.; Colle, D.; Pickavet, M.; Demeester, P. (2005)
    • The planned decision to transfer an entrepreneurial company

      Leroy, Hannes; Manigart, Sophie; Meuleman, Miguel (2009)
    • The process-oriented organisation: a holistic view

      Willaert, Peter; Van den Bergh, Joachim; Willems, Jurgen; Deschoolmeester, Dirk (2007)
    • The relationship between career-related antecedents and graduates' anticipatory psychological contracts

      De Vos, Ans; Meganck, Annelies (2006)
      This paper addresses the results of a study about the antecedents of the anticipatory psychological contract of graduate students entering the labor market. The anticipatory psychological contract (ACP) is conceptualized as an incomplete mental model about the conditions of the future employment relationship (the employee and employer contributions being part of this deal). Departing from earlier research on the importance of the anticipatory psychological contract as a determinant of employee evaluations regarding their employment relationship, we examine to which extent these pre-employment perceptions are affected by individual career-related antecedents (optimism, career strategy, individual career management and work importance). The results of an empirical study among 1409 graduate students largely confirm the proposed hypotheses. Mainly those dimensions of the ACP that are related to career perspective and job content are significantly affected by the antecedents included in our model. Graduates with a high score on careerism, who engage in a high level of individual career management and with management ambitions, have stronger expectations regarding these inducements. With regard to their own commitment toward their future employer, mainly the dimensions flexibility and employability are affected by these antecedents.
    • The relationship between consumers' unethical behavior and customer loyalty in a retail environment

      De Wulf, Kristof; Van Kenhove, Patrick; Steenhaut, Sarah (2003)
      This paper investigates the relationship between two outcomes of relationship marketing - affective commitment and behavioral loyalty - and consumers' unethical behavior. The main objective of the study is to assess whether affective commitment and behavioral loyalty to a store translate into more ethical behavior towards that store, controlling for the variables of age, gender, and ethical beliefs. The study does not rely on a single measurement tool, but is based on ten months' panel data and three different mail surveys targeted at 359 Belgian households. The results provide support for our hypothesis that affective commitment is indeed negatively correlated with consumers' unethical behavior. The same conclusion could not be drawn for the relationship between behavioral loyalty and consumers' unethical behavior. No significant relationship was detected, not even in situations where affective commitment was high. The results hold major implications for retailing practice.
    • The reorganization decisions of troubled firms: exit, downscale or relocate

      Pennings, Enrico; Sleuwaegen, Leo (2002)
      Poorly performing firms need to improve their profitability through restructuring their operations. In many cases this means downsizing by means of collective layoff of employees. Based on a unique sample of Belgian firms reporting collective layoffs this paper analyzes whether a firm dismisses all employees (exit), a significant proportion of its employees (downscaling), or closes down part of its activities and moves production abroad (international relocation). It is argued and demonstrated that the choice of downsizing approach differs depending on the strategic options and characteristics of the firm. We find that firms that downscale are more sensitive to profit changes. Relocating firms are labor intensive and move production to lower wage countries to operate more capital-intensive in Belgium in line with the comparative advantage of the country. Exiting firms are typically small and young underscoring the theory on evolutionary learning.
    • The risk effects of acquiring distressed firms

      Bruyland, Evy; De Maeseneire, Wouter (2011)
      Bankruptcy prediction has been a topic of research for decades, both within the financial and the academic world. The implementations of international financial and accounting standards, such as Basel II and IFRS, as well as the recent credit crisis, have accentuated this topic even further. This paper describes both regularized and non-linear kernel variants of traditional discriminant analysis techniques, such as logistic regression, Fisher discriminant analysis (FDA) and quadratic discriminant analysis (QDA). Next to a systematic description of these variants, we contribute to the literature by introducing kernel QDA and providing a comprehensive benchmarking study of these classification techniques and their regularized and kernel versions for bankruptcy prediction using 10 real-life data sets. Performance is compared in terms of binary classification accuracy, relevant for evaluating yes/no credit decisions and in terms of classification accuracy, relevant for pricing differentiated credit granting. The results clearly indicate the significant improvement for kernel variants in both percentage correctly classified (PCC) test instances and area under the ROC curve (AUC), and indicate that bankruptcy problems are weakly non-linear. On average, the best performance is achieved by LSSVM, closely followed by kernel quadratic discriminant analysis. Given the high impact of small improvements in performance, we show the relevance and importance of considering kernel techniques within this setting. Further experiments with backwards input selection improve our results even further. Finally, we experimentally investigate the relative ranking of the different categories of variables: liquidity, solvency, profitability and various, and as such provide new insights into the relative importance of these categories for predicting financial distress.
    • The role of career-self-management in determining employees' perceptions and evaluations of their psychological contract and their esteemed value of career activities offered by the organization

      De Schamphelaere, Veroniek; De Vos, Ans; Buyens, Dirk (2004)
      The development of a career is subject to an interaction and exchange process between employer and employee. In addition, the changing nature and meaning of a career in today's competitive labor market has stimulated researchers to relate this with the psychological contract theory (e.g. Herriot, 1998, Sparrow & Cooper, 1998). However, the research domain of career self-management and the potential influence on the perception and evaluation of the psychological contract and on career activities offered by the organization in particular, has not been explicitly explored yet. Studies of Kossek et al. (1998) and Sturges et al. (2000) show that employees who actively manage their own career, hold higher expectations towards their employer, since they develop a clear idea on what their career objectives are and on how they want to achieve them. Hence, hypotheses are formulated that address the relationship between career self-management and (1) the perception and evaluation of the psychological contract, (2) the esteemed value and perception of career activities offered by the employer. To test our hypotheses, a cross-sectional survey among 491 employees of six Belgian organizations has been conducted. Our results suggest that the extent to which employees manage their own career has a significant impact on (1) the perception and evaluation of promises exchanged with their employer and (2) the importance they attach to career activities and the evaluation they make of the career activities offered by the company. First, employees who actively manage their own career, believe their employer has made more promises to them relating to different content domains of the psychological contract. Secondly, employees who actively manage their own career, are more positive on the fulfillment of their psychological contract. More specifically, this conclusion can be applied to the two dimensions of the psychological contract that are job-related, i.e. career development opportunities, job content. Thirdly, employees who actively manage their own career, attach more importance to the career activities offered by the company. In particular those career activities that consist of real guidance and steering from the organization. Furthermore, these employees also evaluate the provision of career management practices in the organization more positively. Our findings are discussed in view of the literature on career self-management and psychological contracts and they add new important insights.
    • The role of culture in coping with uncertainty

      Nardon, Luciara (2006)
      This paper builds on prior cross-cultural research to explore the role of national culture in providing mechanisms to cope with uncertainty. The concept of uncertainty is critical to organization and management theories, and has been central in explaining the relationship between organizations and their environment. The cross-cultural literature suggests that people perceive and deal with uncertainty differently across cultures. This paper extends this literature by empirically testing the role of culture in providing managers with mechanisms to cope with uncertainty in Brazil and the United States. Results suggest that beliefs about control over the environment and rule orientation influence the choice of coping mechanisms employed across countries. Implications for theory and practice are discussed. Key words: uncertainty, coping with uncertainty, uncertainty avoidance, national culture, content analysis, cross-cultural management
    • The role of physical prototyping in the product development process

      Vandevelde, Anneke; Van Dierdonck, Roland; Clarysse, Bart (2002)
      The aim of this paper was to achieve a better understanding of the specific role of physical prototyping in the product development process. Data from a survey of 25 companies revealed that the direct effect of prototyping on multidimensional project performance is limited. However, physical prototyping appears to affect process and product concept characteristics. More particularly, it improves interdisciplinary communication, supports a concurrent, time-oriented approach and collaboration in balanced teams. It enhances the project leader's championing, and increases the support of senior management and product quality. Finally, physical prototyping indirectly affects project performance via these modified characteristics.
    • The role of process, context and individual characteristics in explaining readiness to change: a multilevel analysis

      Bouckenooghe, Dave; Devos, Geert (2007)
      Organisational change often yields limited success. Failure in many cases is due to the motivation or readiness to change among employees. This article proposes and tests a multilevel model of readiness to change. Contrary to most works on readiness to change, readiness is conceptualised as a multifaceted construct (i.e. emotional involvement and commitment to change). Relationships of several context, process variables and locus of control with both components of readiness to change were examined. By means of a large scale survey administered in 56 public and private sector organisations, we collected 1,559 responses in total. Multilevel random coefficient modeling showed that a proportion of the total variance in emotional involvement and commitment to change is explained at the organizational level. Furthermore, the results indicated that the organization's change history, the sector (public versus private), participation in the change process and support of top management toward change are important variables in understanding readiness to change. Key words: commitment to change, context factors of change, emotional involvement, locus of control, multilevel analysis and process factors of change
    • The role of the psychological contract in retention management: Confronting HR-managers' and employees' views on retention factors and the relationship with employees' intentions to stay

      De Vos, Ans; Meganck, Annelies; Buyens, Dirk (2005)
      This article examines HR managers' and employees' views on the factors affecting employee retention. This is done by integrating findings from the literature on retention management with the theoretical framework of the psychological contract. In a first study a sample of HR managers from a diverse group of public and private firms described the factors they believed to affect employee retention and the retention practices set up in their organization. In a second study, a large and diverse sample of employees reported on the importance attached to five types of employer inducements commonly regarded as retention factors. They also evaluated their employers' delivery of these inducements and provided information on their loyalty, intentions to stay and job search behaviors. The results of both studies are discussed and implications for HR managers are highlighted.